Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Crossing Fingers for Adapted Poem

Hi Blog.

I have my fingers crossed for a piece of good news that could validate my attempt at passing myself off as a creative writer, a poet. I had sent my adaptation of a famous man's poem into a big-shot poetry competition and I'm now two days away from finding out just how much it fared.

On the one hand, I'm completely stoic as to the outcome of the judging, having learned from experience that it is better not to hope so as not to be disappointed. On the other hand, I am actually quite curious to see if the judges have a sense of humour and, more importantly, are able to see the clever twist that makes this attempt an improvement on the original and a commentary on the new world.

The original poem deals with racism. This adaptation deals with gender relations and body weight. So, fingers crossed. The good thing about whatever happens on Wednesday is that I will now have the freedom to make the poem available on every other medium as soon as the judges are done with it. Are you curious?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tupac's Lost Tapes

This is my first time of watching Tupac speak outside the confines of his rap lyrics. The impression I take out of this, after the emotions of lamenting just how much we lost with his death, is how smart, and far ahead of his time he was. The interview was made two years before he would be fatally shot in Las Vegas. Enjoy. (It has three parts).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Living and Loving a Foreign Country

There is a paradox, I believe, in the idea that a foreign country sometimes holds better treasures than the one in which one currently resides. I know that now after conversations with friends who have lived in this country for most of their lives. They all believe in the same thing: they need to travel out to other places in order to feel better about themselves.

Note the above: I have not told you where I am. The beauty of that only illustrates my point a little more. When I lived in Nigeria, the above paragraph was just as true as it is now that I live in a so called advanced democracy. All the friends I have made, black and white, all want to move either to Spain, or to Mexico, or to France, or to Holland. Anywhere but where they are at the moment, which they call home.

What this means, of course is simple. There is no place like... there, the other place. Nigerians want to go to the US and the UK. Americans want to go to Europe and South America, and Canada. Mexicans want to come to the US. And Jamaicans too, and Haitians, and Dominicans, and Cubans, and Columbians. Libyans want to go to Italy. Italians want to live in New York. Canadians want to come to the US (or not)... and the circle continues. The only thing constant through this theme is the constant of leaving home. Ulli Beier left Germany for Nigeria. Susanne Wenger died in Osogbo. J.M. Coetzee, a white South African finally left the country and became Austrailian. V.S. Naipaul was Indian, and then Trinidadian, and finally British - as British as any other Englishman. I am as weird sounding to an American if I say nice things about his country as he is to me when he insists that the country is full of shit and that he wants to get out asap to "anywhere but here." Sounds just like what someone living in Nigerian would say while living there.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nigeria Decides

I am a sworn apolitical being. I may have voted only once in my life. And the fact that I don't remember when it was or who it was that I voted for should tell you much about my conviction in the strength of my vote. By the time I was eighteen, the first major election in the country had already taken place. The next one took place while my University was on a forced prolonged strike. If I'm asked to guess, the only one I could have voted in was 2007, and still memory fails me.

It is 2011 again and I am far away from home. There is no chance in heaven that I will be able to vote, or that my vote will count. My friends however have all gone gaga pitching tents with many of the declared candidates. Some have become non-paid volunteers, some have become campaign managers, and some have become pundits and sideline commentators. I'm still involved, no matter what I think. I can not be totally aloof. Two days ago, one other friend sent me an offline message saying "You must vote for Buhari." Never mind that I am thousands of miles away from the scene of action.

Like all political processes, this election is about rhetoric as much as it is about change. Everyday, on twitter and Facebook, I watch as each of the candidates and their strategist joust with words, might, and ideas. It doesn't make me any more political than I already am, but if fills me with a certain kind of (albeit wary) joy. The reason I could provide for not having been able to vote in any of the elections conducted so far is the very precarious state the country turns into on election day: thugs, weapons, and blatant rigging. We will have less of that this time, everyone says. People have become more conscious. We hope so.

I do not believe that any one of the candidates will bring a sudden transformation of the country, however. The transformation needed for the country is already taking place in the very active involvement of people in the choice of their leaders, especially if it also continues long after the new president has been sworn in. The change we want may already be here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's Been a While

What should I do with this blog? I just realized that the last time I wrote anything here was almost two years ago. Is it worth keeping? Should I turn it into a picture blog? Or a poetry blog? Or just close it for good. I remember the good fun I used to have writing here in the relative anonymity that I enjoyed. Now, things seems so different on a different portal, different expectations and a different audience.

When this blog used to be active, I know that the audience was mostly Nigerian, especially the "intellectual" category. (I put intellectual in parenthesis because it's such a heavy word to throw around carelessly.) In any case, I enjoyed the exchanges I had here and I found many of them challenging - a very good way to pass the time in that interesting epoch. There was Laspapi, and OmoAlagbede, and Araceli Aipoh, and Kiibaati, and Solomonsydelle, and Loomnie, and Verastic, and (I believe) Aloofar, and Nilla and LikeMack, and a few other people whom I never met but who always came back to talk about things we found interesting to talk about. Yes, that moment in time has gone with the wind. Just a few of those guys still blog, or write even.

So here I am myself, a prodigal, two years after I disappeared into the wilderness of a different experience. I don't remember consciously planning for this blog to be anything but just a portal of random thoughts so I didn't think twice before bailing on it when I had the chance. However, it's been hard to totally let go, so here I am. So what will we do? End it, finally? Renew it with fresh ideas, or turn it into something more fun and hope that some of the old (and new) guys will return? Is anyone here?